March 8, 2010

Ten Wheaton athletes prepare for NCAA track & field championship

NORTON, MA- Ten Wheaton College men's and women's indoor track & field athletes will travel to this weekend's NCAA Championship at DePauw University's Hollensteiner Track. Five Lyon men, the most since sending six in 2004, will attend the two-day event, which kicks off on Friday. At least four women head to the indoor national meet for the 14th consecutive year.

Senior Merzudin Ibric (Revere, MA/Phillips Academy), junior Mark Williamson (Vienna, VA/James Madison), sophomore Cailean Robinson (Newton, MA/Phillips Exeter Academy) and freshmen Cecil Jeffrey (Framingham, MA/Rivers School) and Ben Miklovich (New Gloucester, ME/Gray-New Gloucester) will represent the Wheaton men. Ibric chases his first All-America finish since 2007, while Robinson was an All-American last winter.

Ibric and Williamson will compete in the 400-meter dash, as Williamson enters the meet having recorded the fourth-best time in the event in Division III this year. Ibric stands seventh, as Wheaton is the only institution with multiple athletes in the 12-runner field. Robinson is tied for fourth in the 55M and is slated to combine with Ibric, Miklovich and Williamson in the 4x400M relay. The Lyons own the nation's third-best time in the event, just 0.02 seconds shy of second, while Jeffrey will be an alternate for the foursome.

The Lyon women scheduled to compete are junior Laurenmaria Smith (Providence, RI/Hope), sophomores Lauren Cardarelli (Cranston, RI/La Salle Academy), Didine Jusme (Providence, RI/Classical) and Mickey Jusme (Providence, RI/Classical), and freshman Samantha Bennett (Weymouth, MA/Weymouth). Mickey Jusme was an All-America triple jumper last winter, while all four returners were All-Americans at the NCAA's outdoor meet.

Mickey Jusme enters the championship seeded sixth in the long jump and tied for 12th in the triple jump, while twin sister Didine Jusme tied for the 11th-fastest 55-meter hurdles time in the nation this year. Smith is 14th in the 55M dash and will join Bennett, Cardarelli and Didine Jusme on the 4x400M relay, which is seeded eighth.

Wheaton's entrants begin action on Friday, when the long jump starts at 12:00 p.m. The trials for the 55- and 400-meter dashes and 55-meter hurdles will all be contested on Friday before the finals take place Saturday. The triple jump and 4x400M relay, the final event of the championship, also occur on Saturday.

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